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Olympics-Lebanese skier Chamoun apologises for racy pictures

Reuters

By Karolos Grohmann

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Lebanese skier Jacky Chamoun apologised on Tuesday after photos and a video from a photoshoot three years ago surfaced on the internet and caused a stir in her Arab nation.

Chamoun, who also competed in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and resides in Switzerland, said the material that appeared on the internet showing her topless was not part of the shoot for an Austrian skiing calendar.

"Yes I did photos for an Austrian ski calendar with other professional athletes three years ago," she said in a statement posted on her facebook page.

"The photos of the photoshoot are not like the actual images that are now circulating on the net. The video and photos that you are now seeing are part of the making off, the preparation, it wasn't supposed to go public."

The racy photos in the calendar show the Lebanese scantily dressed but not naked. The photos that appeared in the past days show her topless as she prepares for the shoot.

"Anyways, I want to apologize to all of you, I know that Lebanon is a conservative country and this is not the image that reflects our culture. I fully understand if you want to criticise this," said the 22-year-old.

Lebanese team officials contacted by Reuters in Sochi refused to comment and referred the matter to the Lebanese Olympic Committee in Beirut.

"Now that I'm at the Olympic Games, these photos that I never saw before are being shared. It is sad. All I can ask to each of you who saw this, is to stop spreading it, it will really help me focusing on what is really important now: my trainings and race," said Chamoun.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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